English As A Second Language

The ESL courses that Contra Costa County’s adult educators offer empower adults to learn communication in order to thrive in the community. Where your pathway for learning English begins is based both on your goal for learning English as well as your current English reading, writing, and grammar skills. There are two types of ESL programs to choose from in our region: Adult School or College. You may find that one program or a mix of both may suit your needs. The best way to find out which is the right fit for you is by meeting with a counselor first.

Overcoming the Language Barrier
Abraham Acianoh


A language barrier and culture shock made traditional high school difficult for Abraham Acianoh.

“I was intimidated because of the language. It was a fast-paced environment,” he says. “That’s why I wasn’t a fan of high school. I didn’t want to go.”

A native of Guinea, Acianoh immigrated to the U.S. at age 17 to be with his family in Concord. His mother, who moved to the United States when Acianoh was just 3 years old, had already learned English thanks to Mt. Diablo Adult Education.

But Acianoh needed to catch up. He started taking English as a second language (ESL) classes through a Mt. Diablo Adult Education program held at the Loma Vista Adult Center.

Map of English as a Second Language Programs and Classes

Click on a school icon below to find an English as a Second Language program or class in Contra Costa County.

English as a Second Language Programs and Classes in Contra Costa County


Classes in Antioch

Antioch Adult Education
820 West 2nd Street
Antioch, CA 94509

Classes are offered in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced ESL.

In order to attend class, students must first take a placement examination and be assigned to a class. To register, please call (925) 779-7490.

Classes in Brentwood

Liberty Adult Education
929 2nd Street
Brentwood, CA 94513

Classes are offered in beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of ESL. Citizenship classes are also available.


  • All registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Participants must pre-register for all programs.

  • New students must register in person at the Adult Education Office to complete a registration form.

  • New students will be required to attend an orientation meeting and take a placement test.

Classes in Concord

Mt. Diablo Adult Education
1266 San Carlos Avenue
Concord, CA 94518

Classes are offered in beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of ESL. Citizenship classes are also available.

In order to attend class, students must first take a placement examination and be assigned to a class. Placement examinations are held in the ESL Registration and Placement Office. The ESL Registration and Placement office is open Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Call (925) 685-7340, extension 6754 for more information.

Classes in Martinez

Martinez Adult Education
600 F Street
Martinez, CA 94553

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced English Classes, Speaking & Listening Classes, ESL Computer Class and Computer Aided Language Lab, Computer Keyboarding (Typing) Classes, and U.S. Citizenship Preparation Classes

Register in the ESL Office and start studying English TODAY! For more information, call (925) 335-5890 for assistance in Spanish or email:  awallace@martinez.k12.ca.us

Some good reasons to come join our “ESL Family”: 

  • Study in small size classes

  • Make friends with students from more than 20 different countries

  • Participate in field trips, potluck dinners, and our International Faire

Classes in Pittsburg

Los Medanos College
2700 E Leland Rd.
Pittsburg, CA 94565


Classes are offered in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced ESL,  Grammar for Communication, Conversation, Pronunciation, Writing and Reading, and Vocabulary.

You can visit or contact the EMLS/ESL Department Chair, Dr. Paula Gunder. Dr. Gunder's office is on the second floor of the main College Complex, CC2-211D. Her e-mail address is pgunder@losmedanos.edu, and her telephone number is (925) 473-7882. Stop by, send an e-mail, or call.
You can call or visit Counseling Services, or use the online appointment system or WebAdvisor to make an appointment with a Counselor - click Counseling Services to visit the Counseling's information pages.
You can also visit or contact the Student Outreach Office, Room SS3-319, the Welcome Center, Room SS3-331 or the Welcome Desk. All are located on the lower level of the Student Services Center at LMC. You may also contact this area by phone at (925) 473-7430 or e-mail Mr. Jorge Cea at jcea@losmedanos.edu.


Pittsburg Adult Education Center
1151 Stoneman Avenue
Pittsburg, CA 94565

Classes are offered in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced ESL, Parent English as a Second Language, Listening and Speaking, Pronunciation, Reading, Grammar, Conversation, Intensive Writing, ESL Transition, and U.S. Citizenship Preparation.

ESL Testing and Registration Center, Room 1

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Please allow two hours for placement testing, which is part of registration. No testing can begin after 10:00 am or 7:00 pm. Space is limited.

Como parte de la inscrición tendra que tomar una evaluación para reistrarlo en el nivel adequado. La evaluación durara dos horas. No se permite empezar la evaluación despues de las 10:00 am o 7:00 pm. El espacio es limitado.

Classes in Pleasant Hill

Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Certificate of accomplishments are offered in ESL conversation, intermediate ESL reading and writing,  and advanced ESL reading and writing.

In order to take these courses, you must first complete the ESL assessment to learn your current skill level and course placement. Review the ESL course sequence to see what courses are required and in what order.

You can learn more about these options and the requirements in our catalog. We know that navigating degrees and certificate requirements can be tricky. Schedule an appointment with a counselor to discuss which option is best for you. 

Classes in Richmond

West Contra Costa Adult Education
5625 Sutter Street
Richmond, CA 94804

Adults who want to learn English or improve their English skills may attend courses at any of our 18 locations. In every course, students practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English. We have beginning, intermediate, advanced and multi-level classes. Distance learning and citizenship classes are also available.

Registration is always open. Call us anytime during the year. An assessment test is mandatory to register for classes at Serra and Richmond High School. Please call the ESL office at 510-231-1453 for testing dates. Sorry we cannot accept ESL registrations by mail or online.

La matrícula está abierta siempre. Llámenos en cualquier época del año. Si desea asistir a clases en la escuela Serra o en la Richmond High School necesita tomar un examen para determinar el nivel apropiado. Para más información llame al (510) 231-1453. No se aceptan inscripciones por correo.

Classes in San Pablo

Contra Costa College
2600 Mission Bell Drive
San Pablo, CA 94806

A variety of classes such as Beginning English Communication, Intermediate English Communication, Advanced English Communication, Reading and Vocabulary for Beginning ESL, Listening and Speaking, Pronunciation, Reading, Grammar, and much more.

STEP 1 – Fill out a college application. Go online at www.contracosta.edu and click on “Apply Now.” After you submit your application, you will get an email message with your Student ID (Identification) Number. (If you don’t have email, the college will give you one when you fill out your application)

STEP 2 – Make an appointment to take the ESL placement testCall (510) 215-3896 or (510) 215-3936 to make an appointment
STEP 3 – Take the placement testGo to the Assessment Center in the SSC Building, Room 104 at your appointment time.

Classes in Walnut Creek

Acalanes Adult Education
1963 Tice Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA 94595

Classes are offered in beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of ESL.

In order to attend class, students must first take a placement examination and be assigned to a class. (Students may join classes at any time during the year, space permitting.) You must register before attending a test session.  Orientation meeting usually takes 20 minutes and testing usually takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours. egister online for a testing date: www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/adultedregistration